CENTER, Mo. — No. 2 seed Mark Twain will be facing a familiar postseason opponent this Friday when the Tigers host No. 7 seed South Shelby in the Class 1 District 2 Quarterfinals.
The Tigers played the same opponent last season, losing a double-overtime heartbreaker to the Cardinals, 28-20.
Mark Twain head coach Karl Asbury said the players remember last year’s game, but it’s a different team this season.
“It will be good to play at home,” Asbury said. “The players are just more comfortable.”
South Shelby enters Friday’s quarterfinal game with an 0-7 record in a regular season plagued by lopsided losses and canceled games. The Cardinals were shutout three occasions this season and are coming off a 54-10 road loss to Brookfield.
Mark Twain (3-5) snapped a two-game losing streak last Friday at home when the Tigers defeated Louisiana 28-6.
“Playing well always adds to the confidence,” Asbury said about the momentum the Tigers gained from last week’s win.
The Tigers have relied on a heavy dose of running backs Evan Torrence and Landon Moss offensively. Torrence ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns against Louisiana, while Moss ran for 116 yards and a touchdown.
“Those two have been doing well because of the offensive line and our fullback, who has been performing well,” Asbury said.
Although the Tigers are mainly a running team, Asbury may mix in some passes with quarterback Payton Hawkins.
“We have plays to help mix it up,” Asbury said. “It just goes with the flow of the game.”
Last week’s win over Louisiana matched Mark Twain’s best defensive performance of the season, where the Tigers only allowed six points. The Tigers defense also limited Van-Far to six points in its 8-6 win on Sept. 12.
Tigers linebacker Dawson Talbott had an exceptional game against Louisiana, coming away with a team-high 10 tackles. Five of those tackles were for a loss.
Asbury said his defense is preparing like it normally would.
“The defense just needs to do their job,” Asbury said. “Do their assignment.”